World

Saudi Arabia is criminalizing sexual harassment

Criminal charges against sexual harassment are underway by Saudi Arabia, with the approval of the relevant draft law by the Council of Shura, which advises the cabinet. In this way, the dignity and personal freedom of women “as guaranteed by Islamic rules and laws” must be protected.

Consequently, perpetrators of sexual harassment in the future will be threatened with imprisonment of up to five years or fines of up to 300,000 euros (69,000 euros). The law will cover a “huge legislative gap” and serve as a deterrent, as a member of the Surah Council said.

Reform, as explained by the Athenian News Agency, was drafted according to the instructions of Saudi Prince Mohammed bin Salman, according to local media. The prince wants to strengthen the conservative Muslim country by pushing for a series of reforms – granting more rights to hitherto strictly limited women.

Reforms include greater participation of women in economic activity. In June the ban on driving women is abolished. However, human rights activists criticize the reforms as superficial because the country is still governed autocratic, Amnesty International said.